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Residents are the key: 13 arrested during Operation Cezar

Knock, knock.

Do you think it was that simple when state and local law enforcement agencies came calling on houses throughout Vicksburg and Warren County early Wednesday?

During Operation Cezar, a widespread warrant sweep, 13 individuals were arrested in connection with a long list of drug and firearm charges.

Throughout the morning, the list of those arrested kept growing and the list of those actively selling and distributing drugs in our community kept getting smaller.

And while some of those charged will face the full weight of the charges they are facing, others will no doubt look to cut a deal, connect others they have worked with and help law enforcement work to weaken whatever drug network exists in Vicksburg and Warren County.

Similar sweeps have been held over the years in Vicksburg, and many of those arrests have led to others, and those arrests to even more. It is a process law enforcement count on to take the fight back to those damaging our communities with each gram of methamphetamine sold and each dime bag of marijuana distributed.

“The toll that drugs have on a community is disturbing and the citizens of Vicksburg are fed up,” Vicksburg Chief of Police Walter Armstrong said following the rush of arrests Wednesday. “We greatly appreciate the citizens taking the initiative to contact law enforcement about drug activity in an effort to help create a safer community.”

And that is what was key to Wednesday’s arrests and any future successes in the war on drugs.

Without tips from area residents, calls to investigators and information on those possibly connected to the selling and distribution of drugs police would be at a horrific disadvantage.

Only with information and tips can law enforcement continue to make the strides like they saw Wednesday.

“Drugs destroy people, families, relationships, neighborhoods and the community as a whole,” Armstrong said, and we cannot agree more.